Norby wrote:Yeah, cause that 2.05 ERA in the hitter-friendly PCL is weak sauce.
Sorry, i'm buying. Dude is a stud. I'll go ahead and say right now that he'll end up with better numbers than Shelby Miller the rest of the way.
Not every park in the PCL is equally ridiculous for hitters. Stadiums for the most part don't get ridiculous until you get to the mountains and either get elevation and/or dry conditions.
He has a 2.05 ERA because he has a .197 BAPIP. In addition to that firstinning has his HR/FB% at 5%. Neither of those numbers are even remotely possible to maintain for a full season at the MiLB level much less in the majors. That's why the K's are important.
It's fine if he's learning to pitch (why his K's are down) like someone else suggests but that's not exactly a good argument for immediate success in the majors. He has talent but he was a recent draftee that hasn't dominated AAA yet unless you are only looking at his lucky ERA.
here is what razzball had to say about Wacha this morning.
let’s see what our prospect writer, Scott, has said about him, “Wacha’s 2012 numbers were just plain silly: 0.86 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 17.1 K/9 in 11 appearances across three levels (Rookie, High-A, Double-A). Those 11 outings, however, only tallied up to 21 IP. The Cardinals were keeping his workload light, and Wacha never worked through a batting order more than one time through. That was the only criticism, the only reason to expect regression as he stepped up to Triple-A ball this season. Well, Wacha’s done a fine job of quelling those concerns so far. If only we could quell Grey as easily.” Hey, what’s the big idea!? I’m not sure where Wacha’s Ks have been thus far in Triple-A (under a 6 K/9), but his walks have been in check (~2.5 BB/9) and he has an ERA of 2.05 in 52 2/3 IP. If he keeps his K-rate around there in the majors, he’s going to be strictly an NL-Only or 15-team mixed leagues and deeper play. But he looks closer to a 7+ K-rate guy and someone I’d grab in all mixed leagues. The upside is here for greatness; of course the downside of any rookie pitcher is here, as well. All of this is assuming the Cards officially call him up, but the word around town is they’re about to.
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6'6" Weight: 196 lbs. On 40-man roster: No Age as of 4/1/13: 21 (Turns 22 in July)
Wacha was not drafted out of high school, choosing to attend Texas A&M University, and had a very solid career there. He started for most of his freshman season and all of his sophomore and junior seasons, posting nearly a strikeout per inning across his college career while limiting walks to less than 2 per 9 innings. He was drafted by the Cardinals with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 draft, and signed for a bonus of $1.9 million.
The Cardinals sent Wacha to their rookie league affiliate in the Gulf Coast League to start out, making three appearances but throwing just five innings. He had four appearances at their High-A affiliate and then four more at AA, but only threw a total of 21 innings across all of his appearances in 2012. Across them all, he struck out 40, walked just 4, and allowed just 8 hits.
The Scouting Report - Scouting reports are gathered from other internet sources and written reports, unless otherwise noted.
I watched Wacha's outing last Wednesday, and had this to say about it:
He was sitting 90-93 with his fastball according to the television radar gun, and was sitting pretty consistently 83-86 with what appeared to be his changeup. The key for Wacha was nearly pinpoint command, as he was painting the inside corner very consistently to each batter.
According to Baseball America, his changeup was "the best available in the 2012 draft", and BP rated it as a potential 60 grade pitch. Wacha also features a curveball, which is expected to be at least average as well. The key for him though, is his excellent command, which helps him to stay ahead of hitters and use his offspeed pitches more effectively.
What's Keeping Him From Contributing Now?
It's hard to be alright with a pitcher who hasn't thrown more than three innings in any game as a professional, which makes you wonder whether he will be able to do so long term. Realistically, the Cardinals need him to show that he can handle a starting pitcher's workload in the Majors, and he'll be given that opportunity at AA to start the season. If he is able to do that, he could see himself get a shot at a rotation spot in 2014, potentially replacing Jake Westbrook (who has a mutual option for that season).
What Could He Do For Fantasy Owners Once He Gets There?
Wacha's control leads me to believe he can post low ratios in the Majors, along with the possibility of a strikeout rate somewhere between 7 and 8 per 9 innings. He has posted excellent groundball rates, both last season and so far in spring training, but the sample size doesn't really allow us to make too much of a judgment about that. If he can stretch himself out and work deep into games, he has the upside of a mid-rotation starting pitcher in real life, which would likely translate to the 5th or 6th starter on a fantasy roster.
When Could He Arrive?
Given the glut of starting pitching in front of him, both at the Major and Minor league levels, it seems unlikely he would debut during the 2013 season. However, he appears to be very close to major league ready despite the lack of innings, and could definitely be used in a pinch if needed. That said, he is not on the 40-man roster, and I don't think they call him up unless they have no other options available, so as not to burn any service time or options for a spot start. I would be surprised if he wasn't up during the 2014 season.
not that spring training numbers mean a whole lot, but this spring he had.. 11.2 IP, 7 H, 15 K, 1 BB, 0.00 ERA, 0.69 WHIP.
for what it's worth, arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball history only had a career K/9 of 6.06 K/9. Greg Maddux.
SpecialFNK wrote:for what it's worth, arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball history only had a career K/9 of 6.06 K/9. Greg Maddux.
That comparison doesn't inspire a lot of confidence (for a redraft, anyway). Maddux's first two seasons in the majors yielded eras of 5.5+. I can see him as a speculative add, but only on the hope that the minor league k numbers are pure fluke.
I was just using the example that if he was to be low on the K's, he could still help if he had good ERA/WHIP.
he is pitching Thursday.
The Cardinals will call up prospect right-hander Michael Wacha to start Thursday against the Royals. That was the assumption after Wacha was scratched from Monday's start with Triple-A Memphis, but it's now official. Last year's first-round pick for the Cardinals, Wacha owns a 1.71 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 74/19 K/BB ratio over his first 73 2/3 innings in pro ball. He'll likely face an innings limit down the road, but go ahead and pick him up in all formats.
The Cardinals would like to limit Michael Wacha to around 150 innings this season. He's already thrown 52 2/3 frames at Triple-A. It's a rough number that the Cards won't strictly stick to, but general manager John Mozeliak said they're "going to be open" to skipping the righty's turn in the rotation when possible. Mozeliak said if Wacha remains with the big club, he'd "probably receive approximately 22 starts. If you’re doing five innings per start, it would probably work in terms of not putting in danger." The talented young righty will make his major league debut on Thursday against the Royals.
I'd rather see him go more than 5 innings a start.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Less than a year removed from his selection in the draft, celebrated prospect Michael Wacha will make his major-league debut Thursday at Busch Stadium against the Kansas City Royals.
A team official confirmed the move this morning and the team announced that they will promote the righty before Thursday's game.
Wacha, 21, was the 19th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
"We just have to manage expectations a little bit," Mozeliak said. "He's a year removed from college and he's thrust into a very competitive division with a lot of expectations being put on him, and I don't know how fair that's going to be.
"In an ideal world, we wouldn't have to go down this path," Mozeliak continued. "Due to all the injuries, we do need some help, and he has certainly been our best pitcher at Triple-A."
During spring training he did not allow a run in major-league exhibition games, nor did he allow a run in minor-league scrimmages. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and manager Mike Matheny have been among the team members who said Wacha's stuff was good enough this spring to have success in the majors.
Mozeliak sought to suppress what he called "hype" that has surrounded Wacha this season as the likelihood of his debut increased to a reality.
Matheny said the team helped stir the expectations by putting Wacha on the stage to create them.
"We were both pretty honest with it that it has been media expanded but it was created by us trying to get as good look at him as we could during spring training," Matheny said this afternoon. "As we got a better look, it wasn’t very much of a secret that this guy has some good stuff. We really wanted to see what we had in him. He really took advantage of that opportunity."
The righty is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in nine starts with Class AAA Memphis.
His ERA leads the Pacific Coast League.
Mozeliak said: "A lot's being made of this, but the fact is we've had a lot of injuries, he's someone who's pitched very well, and right now we need someone to come up here and fill in for a start.
"There's a lot of questions of what this is going to look like in terms of usage — 'Will he be here for the whole season?' I think these are questions we don't have answers to at this time, but we are going to be very cognizant of pitch counts and of course innings."
The Cardinals will need to make two corresponding roster moves to make room for Wacha on the 40-man roster and the active 25-man roster. The Cardinals can place Jaime Garcia on the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot for Wacha on the 40-man roster. A player will have to be optioned to the minors to clear a spot on the 25-man roster.
Mozeliak said he will start making the roster moves Wednesday.
Wacha is set to join the team in St. Louis on Wednesday.
Wacha will be the eighth rookie to pitch for the Cardinals this season and the third to make his major-league debut this month in a game he's starting. John Gast and Tuesday's starter Tyler Lyons did within the past couple weeks. Innings for all of the starting pitchers, including Shelby Miller, will be a concern as the season progresses and the Cardinals look to protect the young arms from the added mileage caused by the major-league season.
"The innings and a cumulative number over the season is certainly a concern and it’s something that we’re going to have adjust as the season goes on," Matheny said. "But right now we want him to focus on not just his first start but his first pitch."
Here is the Post-Dispatch's earlier story on the Cardinals' decision.
The St. Louis Cardinals made a move Monday to prepare a starter they can use in the future and planned to make a decision by Tuesday on an immediate need for a starter.
General manager John Mozeliak traveled to Kansas City to dine with members of the coaching staff Monday night and discuss their options for Thursday’s start against the Royals at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals rescheduled prospect Michael Wacha from his planned start during the weekend to Monday for Class AAA Memphis. Then they scratched him from Monday’s game so that he’s ready to pitch in the big league if selected. The only two other players being considered already are in the big-league bullpen: Joe Kelly and Seth Maness.
“We don’t have a ton of options,” Mozeliak said. “We’re not trying to be cagey (with the decision). I want to go through and let (the coaches) know what I’m thinking and hear what they’re thinking. I want to talk to them face-to-face.”
Mozeliak has expressed in recent weeks a concern for the workload placed on Wacha, who is less than 12 months removed from being drafted out of Texas A&M. Wacha is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in nine starts and 52 2/3 innings at Class AAA. Of the Cardinals’ options he is the one most likely to handle a starter’s innings Thursday. The Cardinals have expressed reluctance to have him make a spot start or to thrust him into a situation that could strain his arm.
Maness pitched in back-to-back games in Los Angeles over the weekend and hasn’t thrown more than 30 pitches in an appearance since April. Kelly has been a long reliever in limited appearances.
Manager Mike Matheny said a bullpen start — in which innings are cobbled together out of a relay race of relievers — would be an option.
The Cardinals sent righty Carlos Martinez Memphis early Monday and promoted righthander Victor Marte, another innings option. Martinez has been assigned to the Triple-A rotation and could start a game as soon as Wednesday. The Cardinals intend to help the righty rebuild his strength and stamina so that he can start.
Mozeliak said they want him ready within a month to start at the big-league level if the Cardinals have an opening the rotation. They have four starting pitchers on the disabled list.
“With the situation we’ve been having here in the rotation, he’s a guy we’d like to have build up to be an option later,” Matheny said. “We need him to be ready to start.”
SpecialFNK wrote:I was just using the example that if he was to be low on the K's, he could still help if he had good ERA/WHIP.
I get it, I just don't think he's a good pickup if one expects low-k numbers. Wacha isn't the gb pitcher that successful low-k pitchers (Hudson, Maddux) are, and while his control is supposed to be good, a 2.5 bb/9 in AAA will translate to something well above Maddux's ridiculous-low walk rate over much of his career. But enough people who seem to know him better appear to think the k's are a fluke.
Just for the record I think Wacha is a great prospect but I also think that he moved too far too fast. He has stuff to work on in the minors imo and I'm not very optimistic about him being useful this year.